Why MSME Owners?
I was short-listed by an upcoming hospital to motivate their staff. This hospital had put in place, state-of-the-art technologies and lacked the state-of-the-art attitude to go along with it.
The other trainer made an impressive presentation to the representative group who would decide between us. I used the opportunity to get them to clarify their own requirements, by asking a buying facilitation questions through PowerPoint slides. The session was vociferously interactive. I got every single participant to voice his/her opinion. I “won” the contract hands-down.
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) was keen to maximize benefit: He wanted maximum no. of participants to attend my “sessions”. I pre-warned him of the consequences of running a program for a non-homogeneous group. He felt confident of dealing with any eventuality. The sessions opened to a disastrous start with initially everybody being mum and ending with a vicious free-for-all.
The CAO tactically back-tracked and I managed to salvage the situation by interacting with them in small, homogeneous groups – departmentwise. The sharing was very personal and intense. People broke down recounting the instances that had caused them to harden up and become insensitive – to protect themselves. It opened avenues for making up, seeking forgiveness and healing themselves.
From this level, I moved the intervention to the next higher level – The Core Management Team. This group comprised the CAO, his direct reports who were Function Heads and sometimes key consultants hired by the hospital. These intensive 2-3 days sessions occurred once a quarter for about a year. The entire culture of the hospital was gradually molded through these twin efforts.
The Managing Trustee of the Hospital had initially participated in the sessions and gradually made her self scarce. As the Management Team gathered strength and discovered their spine flashpoints began erupting. Facing insurmountable resistance, each of them left the institution one by one. The person who took over as the new CAO methodically reversed the decisions and the culture. Everything that had been carefully nurtured was destroyed. The place erupted with negativity, IR problems and violence.
Everyone who actively participated in the sessions, benefited as individuals and professionals. The hospital that paid for my services did not. Looking back, I realized I had worked with practically everyone– except the one who really mattered. I had mistaken the attending consumers to be my clients – instead of the paying customer.
This was my last assignment, working with employees alone – at company’s expense. I consequently, consciously stayed out of the Corporate Sector. My focus irrevocably shifted towards MSME Owners as my Clients of Choice.